Friday, September 19, 2014

 2079- 2nd Samuel 5-6. KING DAVID’S RULE and some comments on world affairs.
 [WARNING- at the bottom of this post I included graphic images that coincide with the content of this post- if you do not want to see pictures of this nature- do note scroll down]

This week I want to cover the rule of King David- we read his story in 1st, 2nd Samuel- let’s just hit on 2 chapters.
2nd Samuel 5-6.

David was the top military commander for king Saul- Israel’s first king.

He led the people into battle and was a revered warrior.

The people began to see David as the real leader of the country- and this stirred up jealousy in Saul.

Saul makes a few attempts to kill David and David eventually starts his own rebellion with about 400 men.

These initial troops are made up of the dregs of society- they have complaints against the ruling king- and they decide to take up arms and go their own way.

Over time David is anointed king- and he consolidates his kingdom- takes the ‘city of Zion’ [the main base- Jerusalem] and establishes his reign.

When we did our overview of the bible we talked about the tabernacle of Moses- which was a sort of tent system that the people had during their wilderness journeys.

This tent had the Ark of the Covenant- a box that held the 10 commandments- inside a 2 room structure called the Holy Place.
In the back room- called the Holy of Holies- the Ark rested.

It represented Gods presence among the people.

The room with the Ark could only be entered into one time a year- the high priest would go in on the Day of Atonement and put the blood of the sacrifice on the lid of the ark- called the Mercy Seat.

This whole system was a type of the Old Covenant law- that men were separated from God [there was a thick veil that separated the 2 rooms of the tabernacle] and the blood on the Mercy Seat was a type of the future Blood of Christ that is called the Propitiation- the same word that describes the Mercy Seat.

So- in the day of David this Ark was stolen- the Philistines had taken it- and David- a type of Christ- recovers the Ark and brings it back to Jerusalem.

David sets the Ark up under his own tent- called the tent/tabernacle of David.

He puts on a linen Ephod [a garment that only priests could wear] and he makes sacrifices [something only priests were allowed to do] and he has all these worshipers playing instruments and singing songs to God around this open tent that had the Ark in full view of all the people.

This whole system of David’s Tabernacle was a complete violation of the rules pertaining to the Tabernacle of Moses.

How did David get away with this?

God was picturing the true rule of Christ- that was a kingdom that would do away with the veil of the temple- and would allow open access to the presence of God under the reign of Christ.

When Jesus was crucified the bible says ‘the veil of the temple was ripped in 2- from the top to the bottom’.

So what we see in David’s rule is a type of the open access we have with God because of the rule of Jesus.

There are not a lot of scriptures on this- but there is some indication that the Tabernacle of Moses was still standing- in another city- at the same time that the Tabernacle of David had the Ark.

This would be a type of the 2 covenants- the Law came thru Moses- but grace and truth came thru Christ.
So- Moses tabernacle was a type of the Old law- absent the true presence of Christ [the Ark was not there anymore].

And David had the true presence of God in his tent.

It was during this time that David wrote the Psalms- they were the praise songs that came forth from this radical worshipping rule that we see under King David.

Ok- now I want to get into some world issues.

I have been reading thru Isaiah the prophet these last few months- and there is a constant theme that keeps coming up.

As a matter of fact we see this theme thru the whole bible.

The theme is that God rules in the affairs of men.

God himself sets up kings- rulers- leaders of nations.

The bible says when there is injustice in a place- know that he that is higher than you considers it.

Nothing happens in world affairs- unless God permits it.

These past few weeks the headlines were about the ISIS-ISIL group in Iraq/ Syria.

They beheaded the 3rd hostage the other day- and the Western world is outraged.


Because it was public- because we can see it on Utube.

Now- is a horrendous act- more wicked because it is posted on-line for the world to see?
Would the killing- beheading- dismembering of a person be ‘more just’ if it were done in secret?

If a radical group- wanted to accomplish a political/military goal- would it be better for them to kill a few- and post it- or to kill many thousands- and not post it?

President Obama hesitated for a few years to engage this group- but after they beheaded the first American journalist- on TV- he acted.
Joe Biden said ‘we will hunt them down to the gates of hell- where they belong’.

Why the outrage- now?

Because it was seen- and it made us look bad.

Remember- nothing happens unless God permits it- he rules in the courts of men- he sets leaders up- and removes them.

Let’s cover some of the history of the U.S.

There have been times in our nation where we- as a nation- embraced wicked things- and called them just.

In 1857 the Supreme Court deemed a Black man to ‘be less’ than a White man.

This is the infamous Dred Scott decision.
A Black slave was moved to a northern state where slavery was not accepted- he sued for his freedom- the case went to the supreme court- and they ruled unjustly- yet- this ruling was considered the law of the land.

In 1896 the court justified racial segregation in the Plessy versus Ferguson case- the court ruled that racial segregation in the schools was just.

This was overturned in the Brown versus Board of Education ruling of 1954.

Now- in 1973 the court decided that the murder of children in the womb was an inherent right.
This was the infamous Roe v Wade case.

The court found that under the Due Process clause of the 14th amendment- there was a woman’s right to privacy- which extended to the aborting of babies in the womb.

Many legal scholars- even pro-abortion ones- consider this ruling to be flawed.

The initial ruling was abortion is now a constitutional RIGHT- but it can only be done in the 1st- 2nd trimester.

Later this was dropped- and it was considered legal to abort a baby until the point of viability outside the mother’s womb.

Now- why bring up these things?

When we engage in other countries- when we go to war.

The primary thing that that our troops swear allegiance to is to protect the constitution.

Which includes ‘our values’.

We often say that radical Islam is a threat to our way of life- our freedoms- our values.

These Muslim countries have values- one being they do not believe/practice abortion- which indeed is a hideous crime that the U.S. engages in- some 1.2 million unborn babies every year.

We are outraged that radical militants target civilians for a ‘political/military end’.

One of the definitions of terrorism is this- the targeting of civilians for some type of goal.
Which I agree- is wrong.

When we bombed the Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki- we did indeed purposefully target women and children- for a political/military outcome- the ending of WW2.

At the time of the dropping of the bombs- Germany already surrendered- the war was winding down.

There is a debate on whether or not we needed to do it.

But our country just obtained the bomb- thanks to the genius of Albert Einstein- and we decided to use it.

My purpose in bringing these things up is not to justify the beheading of civilians- which is wrong.

Nor is it to say that our ending of the war was an act of terrorism.
But it to show that we- as a nation- have gone down paths that do indeed bring the judgment of God upon a people.

The reason I pasted some of the pictures below was for us to see the things that we allow as a nation.

Many of the values that we fight for are wrong- when the Supreme Court makes decisions- which I have showed you have been wrong- then these decisions do indeed become the law of the land [this is a legal debate that has gone on for years- between conservative/liberal scholars].

But the fact is when we allow things that are atrocious- like the aborting of full term babies- then in a sense when we war- we war to protect all of the rights that we as a society deem just.

Yet- we have a history as a nation that shows us we have made very unjust decisions in the past.

And it’s difficult to say to the Islamic world that we are fighting for what’s right- that we are defending just values- when some of these values are not just.

The beheading of journalists on TV is wrong- but because we all saw it- that’s what enraged us.

What if we all saw the pictures of the babies we abort?

There are sonograms- pictures of children in the womb who are grabbing the instruments used- during the abortion- to protect themselves.

We have images of full term babies screaming in the womb- we dismember these babies in the womb.

One of the procedures used is with a suction device- it pierces the head of the baby- suctions out the brain- and collapses the skull- making it easier to pull the baby out.

The way we do this is nothing short of infanticide.

In the chapters above King David was a type/symbol of Christ.

I didn’t get to it- but when he consolidated the kingdom the bible says his men came to him and said ‘we are bone of your bone and flesh of your flesh’.

In 2nd Samuel chapter 6 after David restored the Ark to Jerusalem- he distributed Bread- Wine and Flesh to all the people.

These are beautiful pictures of Christ and his church- we see the communion table in these images.

As I end this post- we- as Gods people- are in the earth to bless all nations.

Our leader- our ‘King David’ gave us an example- he laid his life down for us.

I am not a conservative- nor am I a liberal.

As followers of Christ- we need to be outraged by injustice- on all sides- not just on the side we hate.

God blessed his people- when they did what was just.
When they got off course- they came under judgment.

This past year I mentioned- 2 times- that I felt our country was going to have some sort of event- that was worse than the 911 attack.
Now- I do not advocate for it- I feel like so much has changed in our world this last year or 2- that things are spiraling down.

Russia just did a drill a few weeks back- it was a test run of a nuclear attack on the U.S.

China has challenged us- openly- with military action.

Iran has just rebuffed Obama openly- on Twitter!
Lots has changed in the world balance- and we are in a very dangerous time.

As I close this post- I do appeal to all my friends- Muslim- Christian- Jew- all.

Yes- I consider them my friends- I value the few Muslim friends who read my site.

I just talked to a Muslim the other day- we had a good discussion- I received him as a friend.
This highly offended a few of my Christian friends who saw this- they are upset with me that I did not engage in a strong debate with him.

I later told some ‘look- I am Christian- and I of course realize the theological differences between our faiths- but I think it’s better to become friends- and hear the other side- and then as friends you gain influence- and respect one another’.

Those of you who have read my site for a while see that I do take this moderate approach.

I am not na├»ve’- I realize that radicals- on all sides- are not going to change overnight.

But in the long term- I think we should make the attempt to follow the example of Christ.

He taught his men to reject the way of the sword- to respect human life- and to love one another.

You say ‘wow John- you must be some type of liberal pacifist’.

No- I’m just trying to do my best- and to follow Christ’s example is the supreme thing.

WARNING- Below are the pictures of aborted babies and the civilian victims of our bombing of the Japanese cities.

2Samuel 5:1 Then came all the tribes of Israel to David unto Hebron, and spake, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh.
2Samuel 5:2 Also in time past, when Saul was king over us, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the LORD said to thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be a captain over Israel.
2Samuel 5:3 So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the LORD: and they anointed David king over Israel.
2Samuel 5:9 So David dwelt in the fort, and called it the city of David. And David built round about from Millo and inward.
2Samuel 5:12 And David perceived that the LORD had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for his people Israel's sake.
2Samuel 6:2 And David arose, and went with all the people that were with him from Baale of Judah, to bring up from thence the ark of God, whose name is called by the name of the LORD of hosts that dwelleth between the cherubims.
2Samuel 6:14 And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.
2Samuel 6:17 And they brought in the ark of the LORD, and set it in his place, in the midst of the tabernacle that David had pitched for it: and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD.
Acts 15:16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:
Acts 15:17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.
Amos 9:11 In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:
Revelation 18:1 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.
Revelation 18:2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
Revelation 18:3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
Revelation 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
Revelation 18:5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
Revelation 18:6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.
Revelation 18:7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.
Revelation 18:8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.
Revelation 18:9 And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,
Revelation 18:10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
Revelation 18:11 And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:
Revelation 18:12 The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,
Revelation 18:13 And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.
Revelation 18:14 And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.
Revelation 18:15 The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,
Revelation 18:16 And saying, Alas, alas that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!
Revelation 18:17 For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,
Revelation 18:18 And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!
Revelation 18:19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.
Revelation 18:20 Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.
Revelation 18:21 And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.
Revelation 18:22 And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee;
Revelation 18:23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.
Revelation 18:24 And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.
Hebrews 8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;
Hebrews 8:2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.
Hebrews 8:3 For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.
Hebrews 8:4 For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law:
Hebrews 8:5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.
Hebrews 8:6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
Hebrews 8:7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
Hebrews 8:8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
Hebrews 8:9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
Hebrews 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
Hebrews 8:11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
Hebrews 8:13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

Hebrews 9:1 Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.
Hebrews 9:2 For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary.
Hebrews 9:3 And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all;
Hebrews 9:4 Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;
Hebrews 9:5 And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.
Hebrews 9:6 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.
Hebrews 9:7 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:
Hebrews 9:8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:
Hebrews 9:9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;
Hebrews 9:10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
Hebrews 9:11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
Hebrews 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
Hebrews 9:13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Hebrews 9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
Hebrews 9:16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.
Hebrews 9:17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.
Hebrews 9:18 Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood.
Hebrews 9:19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people,
Hebrews 9:20 Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.
Hebrews 9:21 Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry.
Hebrews 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
Hebrews 9:23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
Hebrews 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:
Hebrews 9:25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;
Hebrews 9:26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [FaceBook#] - I have posted lots. visit- my radio shows.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

2078 FORGIVENESS [And some thought on ISIS]
This week I want to cover the incident where Jesus came back to his home town and healed a paralyzed man.

We read the account in Matthew 9.

As Jesus arrives his fame as a healer is already known- so when he comes into a new city the first thing that people do is bring their sick to him- or ask for him to heal a friend or loved one.

Back in that day there were no scheduled ‘healing crusades’ or things like that- so when you heard Jesus was in town- you tried to get your cause to him.

In this case some guys carry A crippled man to Jesus- and the first thing he says is ‘Son- be glad- your sins are forgiven you’.

Now- the scribes [one of the religious leaders of the time] said [thought] within themselves ‘this man blasphemes’.

Only God could forgive sins.

Now Jesus knew their thoughts and confronted them- he said ‘is it easier to say ‘your sins are forgiven’ or to say ‘rise up and walk’.
Now- it is indeed easier to say ‘your sins are forgiven’- because on the outside- you don’t truly know if there was a change- a forgiveness that took place.

But Jesus says ‘so you may know that the SON OF MAN has power on the earth to forgive sins- I say unto you- rise and walk’.

The man got up- took up his bed- and walked away.

Here is the part I want to get to- when the people saw this miracle they were amazed- and the bible says the thing that amazed them was that God gave such power UNTO MEN.

When we study Theology and do scholarly stuff- one of the things you learn is what we refer to as Liberal Theology.

Now- when we use this term in Christian study- we do not mean Liberal in the sense of Politics [though most Liberal theologians would be more Liberal in the political way].

Liberal theology arose out of the German universities in the late 19th- early 20th centuries.
Men like Rudolph Bultman and others espoused the idea that the stories of the miracles found in the bible were simply ‘myth’ that they were in there simply to teach us moral/ethical truth.

Now- for the most part I reject the bulk of what the Liberal Theologians taught- because they tried to remove the supernatural elements of scripture in order to make Christianity  more acceptable to modern man.

But in doing this they rejected the resurrection of Christ as well as the other supernatural accounts of the bible- so- for most of us- we obviously do not fall into their camp.

But- as the way things are in life- even those we disagree with- at times- do make valid points.

I think in this account- they got it right.
The main thing that Jesus was showing us- was not that men have power to heal the sick [though I do believe in the Charismatic gifts of the Spirit- which includes healing].

But the important thing he showed us was that men have the ‘power on earth- to forgive sins’.

As I write this post- in September of 2014- once again the world is in danger thru another Radical Islamist group- called ISIS [or Isil].

Isis is a radical militant group- who as of this time- has managed to ‘accomplish’ something that the other radical groups have not.

They are closer to establishing a true Caliphate than any other group in the modern period.

What’s a Caliphate?

The other most ‘famous’ radical group of our time is Al-Qaida- who most of us are aware of.

The way Al-Qaida operates is they simply hit targets of convenience- there is no real governmental order to what they do.

Isis has gone a step further- they have taken over areas of Iraq and Syria and have sort of established their own country- from which they move forward [like another country invading enemy territory] and when they take over an area [Mosul in Iraq] they actually establish order- they operate the city-provide services- and often do a better job than the leaders who they ousted.

Sort of like Hamas in Palestine.
Now- because of many other political reasons [the disaffected Sunni population in Iraq- the division between the Sunni and Shia- and how the leader of Iraq has not been inclusive of these groups] the radical group Isis has won the hearts of the more moderate groups- and they have financing- order- and the ability to launch more than just an isolated ‘terrorist’ attack.

No- they have a form of government and order to what they do.

The same thing has happened in Syria- the more moderate rebels have been won over by the radical Isis group- and they are at war with Bashar Assad- who the U.S. has said ‘must go’.

As of this week- the U.S. no longer holds that positon- and in a way we are actually siding with Assad- in hitting the Isis rebels.

Ok- I used to write on this a lot- and the reason I mention this is because all of these actions going on in the world today- in one way or another- are based on ancient divisions [religious] that some believe can be resolved thru violence.

And I fault our own history as well- the U.S. and the West are guilty in some ways of these same things.

Not out and out ‘terrorism’ but at times we justify military action for ‘self-interest’ and indeed- we kill people.

Now- we don’t cut their heads off on camera for the world to see- and we rightfully condemn such horrific acts.

But when we accidently drone a wedding party [which we have done in Pakistan] or accidentally shoot civilian reporters- and kids [which we did in Iraq] yes- these things are horrific as well- and when the cost of war includes a calculated amount of collateral damage like this- then we- the West- have to be careful before we engage in other countries- because these too are choices that we make- knowing full well- that kids and innocents will be killed- unintentionally mind you- but that’s no solace for the Arab/Muslim mother who had her child killed because the U.S. made a political calculation to engage in there region.

Ok- how do we [the global community] deal with this?

At the heat of the matter I think the answer is found in the story above.

Jesus showed us thru his life- that indeed- God has given POWER UNTO MEN.

What power?

The power to FORIVE SINS- the power to look at long term divisions- hatred of ‘the other’ and to release them.

In 1st Corinthians 13 we read that true love holds no RECORD OF WRONGS DONE.

The first Christian martyr in the bible is Stephen- we read of his martyrdom in Acts 7- when he was being stoned he followed the example of Jesus and said LAY NOT THIS SIN TO THEIR CHARGE.
Saul was there that day- he heard this act of forgiveness- this great ‘power God had given to men’ and he became the greatest missionary of the New Testament- all the elements of Paul’s theology are found in seed form in the great sermon of Stephen that we read in Acts 7.

Stephen's death- and willingness to forgive- had such an impact on Saul- that he would eventually carry the message of Stephen to the ends of the earth [of his day].

There are many teachings/parables that deal with forgiveness- let’s hit on one.
Jesus said there was a king who took account of his servants- one owed a lot- the king was going to make the man sell all that he had- put his family in bondage- and make him pay the debt.

The servant pleaded ‘please be patient with me- I will make it right’.

The king forgave him.

Then this same man went out and found someone who owed him a debt- he did not forgive his debtor- but put him in jail.

The other servants saw this- reported it to the king.

He was angry and went and put him in jail- delivered him to the ‘tormentors’.
Forgiveness is one of the greatest gifts we can give to our fellow man- the releasing of debt.

A couple of years ago I sold my van to one of my friends- for 1800 dollars.

He paid about 700- and I was in N.Y. at the time- thinking of moving back there.

He called me one day ‘John- I don’t think I will be able to come up with the next payment- do you want me to give you the van back’?

He’s a friend I work with from the streets.

I told him ‘no- consider the debt paid- get clean- move on with your life’.

He’s the same friend that asked me a few months back to take him to the detox- he is now back in our halfway house- and has about 120 days clean.

I have had more than one of the street guys say ‘wow- you let him keep the van’.

Even his brother- still on the streets- had a serious talk with me the other day.
I told him it was time to give it a shot- get off the Meth and do like his brother.

He said ‘John- look what my brother did- you let him keep the van- and he went and relapsed’.

This was about a year and a half back.
Yet- these guys remember the forgiving of the debt more than anything else.

Jesus showed us that God has given great power unto men- the greatest being able to forgive wrongs- to let the captive go.

For those who have harmed us- or those we have hurt.
To be able to say ‘I’m so sorry- can you forgive me- I was wrong’.

The offended party has the power to release us- to give the forgiveness- or not.

Let’s try to release the other- we live in a very unstable world today- the root cause is age old divisions.

Things that are either perceived- or actual wrongs.
Even if the wrongs we see- are real- yet- to seek vengeance- to want revenge- to behead people.

These are not the paths of God- Whether you refer to him as Allah- Jehovah- or Jesus.

The example of Jesus was to forgive- even in the midst of a great injustice [his trial and court proceeding was in fact an unjust thing- false witnesses prevailed].

Yet he forgave.
We can too.

Matthew 9:1 And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city.

Matthew 9:2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.
Matthew 9:3 And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth.
Matthew 9:4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?
Matthew 9:5 For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?
Matthew 9:6 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.
Matthew 9:7 And he arose, and departed to his house.
Matthew 9:8 But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.
Matthew 18:21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
Matthew 18:22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
Matthew 18:23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
Matthew 18:24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
Matthew 18:25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
Matthew 18:26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
Matthew 18:27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
Matthew 18:28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
Matthew 18:29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
Matthew 18:30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
Matthew 18:31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
Matthew 18:32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
Matthew 18:33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
Matthew 18:34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
Matthew 18:35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
Luke 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
Acts 7:59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
Acts 7:60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [FaceBook#] - I have posted lots. visit- my radio shows.